Help with painting/weathering info


Active Member
Can anyone direct me to some good info/tutorials on painting and weathering "metal" armor costumes (e.g. space marine, Halo, etc.)? I need to learn how to paint up armor that I'm vacuforming.

(I did try searching, but obviously keywords like "painting" and "weathering" turn up a bazillion unrelated posts, because such words appear in almost everything.)
I believe the techniques vary on what affect you trying to achieve and personally preference. So it would probably help if you described a little of what you are weathering, and what affect you'd like to achieve.
Fair enough, but I don't really know the answer.

I've made several costumes before, such as this one from 2009...

As you can see, my painting skills basically consist of loading a single color of paint into the airbrush, and coating evenly.

I'd like to learn some techniques to get some dirt and grime in the cracks, make it look worn and weathered, make color-painted parts look like the paint has been worn through, give parts rust or abuse, etc.

I'm just trying to expand my skills some, and I though I'd ask if people had some favorite places that described different effects and techniques.
You could do a water based wash with a darker brown on the leg armor (make sure to use artist quality acrylic). Perhaps sponge it on and buff some (but not all off) off. Then do some dry brush highlights on the high spots with silver etc.

I know its not the same, but heres how I weather Sandtroopers. You could use a similar technique, just change up the colors.
weathering sandtrooper armor part 1 - YouTube
Lots of good painting tips and techniques in this thread...

Check out the weathering on the backpack and helmet especially. He did an amazing job on it.

Thank you! He does have a lot of good painting in there.

He mentions...
...with the flame unit... painted, I then assembled the piece, followed by a couple of coats of black accrylic, with was then wiped off. I then finished the piece off by airbrushing the scortch and dirt marks to finish the first part of my fett costume.

Is that the black acrylic wash I was being told about above? Could someone describe what "airbrushing scorch" would look like (it wasn't obvious to me in the pictures)? Would scorch just be light dustings of a dark color, where the rocket would fire, or would that be more like a dark/thicker swipe with the airbrush to make a laser hit scorch?

I'm also reading up on "masking fluid", which I've now seen mentioned a couple times.

I really have a lot to learn. My background is as an engineer, so the artistic side of these costumes, specifically painting, I have little or no experience with (it seems like I don't even know what most of the common lingo or products are). :unsure
i just finished my own suit of armor as well and used a lot of techniques i learned painting minatures years ago, just at a bigger scale. and you said you have acess to an airbrush with that the possibilities are endless. but dry brushing is a great way to add depth to your pieces as well as washes. should find out how to do it with a quck search. or check out games workshops site. they have a lot of step by step painting tips for their minatures a lot of good ideas and a good place to start. but it is a little trial and error as well.
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